Winter arrives with cheers, challenges

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The first serious snow of the winter in Southern Norwegian towns and cities caused some problems this week because of slippery roads and highways. Ski centers and retailers were delighted, however, because the snow can help kick off both the ski- and Christmas shopping seasons.

Oslo quickly turned into a winter wonderland this week, when the first snow of the season fell and stuck around. PHOTO:

Snow fell most of the day on Tuesday in Oslo and elsewhere in the southeast, with chilly temperatures leaving lots of it lying on the ground. It didn’t take long for the Norwegian capital to turn into a winter wonderland, even with just a few centimeters on the ground.

Sirdal in Vest-Agder, meanwhile, got 11 centimeters and Haukeliseter in the mountains reported 20 centimeters. The popular ski center of Geilo recorded seven centimeters on top of snow that fell earlier, leading it and other ski centers to start grooming slopes and trails and welcome a new winter sports season. The first races of the year for Norway’s cross-country ski teams were set to begin in Beitostølen this weekend.

The snow and ice created driving challenges, though, with hazardous road conditions posted in Telemark, Vestfold, Østfold, Oslo, Akershus and Buskerud counties. Some accidents were reported on the E39 highway outside Egersund. More storms setting in on Wednesday forced the closure of several mountain highways.

Winter is well underway in Northern Norway, where temperatures have been under the freezing point and all-day darkness is setting in. Rooftops were still white in Oslo on Thursday, meanwhile, with forecasts of temperatures around the freezing point through the rest of the week. staff